Explore your world
Linguine	Vongole	| Couresty of Eatalian Cafe
Linguine Vongole | Couresty of Eatalian Cafe

The Italophile's Guide To Life In Los Angeles

Picture of Monique Elliott-Smith
Updated: 3 November 2016
Los Angeles is a haven for lovers of Italian culture thanks to the vibrant Italian-American community in the area. From authentic Italian food to refined, modern cuisine, Los Angeles has some of the best Italian food to offer – outside of Italy, of course. Check out our list of the best food, museums, and cultural centers in Los Angeles.

Eatalian Cafe in Gardena – Best Authentic Italian Food

The founder of Eatalian Cafe, Antonio Pellini, came to Los Angeles with the intention of making cheese, but he was told that he could not make traditional Italian cheese under current FDA regulations. Although the classic Neapolitan-style pizza at Eatalian Cafe cannot be surpassed, it’s hard to go wrong with anything you order at this cozy and authentic eatery. Start with traditional antipasti like Crudo e Burrata, and then indulge in any of their fresh homestyle pastas like Tortelli di Zucca or a delicious meat dish. A meal is not complete without sampling their gelato, which is said to be comparable to the best gelato in Italy. Their flagship location is housed in a warehouse in an industrial area of Gardena, but there are also three smaller locations in Gardena and Culver City.

310 532 8880

Linguine con Pesto | © Courtesy of Eatalian Cafe

Linguine con Pesto | Courtesy of Eatalian Cafe

Valentino – Best High-End Italian Fare

This Michelin-starred Santa Monica establishment is ideal for a romantic or private dinner if you’re looking to indulge in more ways than one. Valentino boasts an impressive wine list with over one hundred thousand bottles, making the decision a difficult one. Their menu features classics like grilled Branzino and Veal Milanese, as well as a ‘Tartufo Feast’ menu, which includes six dishes all featuring truffles. Valentino is known for its extremely high standards for ingredients, which enhances their fresh and authentic Italian dishes. At the same time, Valentino makes a concerted effort to create a modern and evolved dining experience, including vegetarian and gluten-free options included on the menu.

310 829 4313

Wine Cellar at Valentino | © Courtesy of Ryan Forbes

Wine Cellar at Valentino | Courtesy of Ryan Forbes

Eagle Rock Italian Bakery – Best Pastries

This bakery has found a way to reproduce pastries and sweets that are reminiscent of those old Italian family recipes your grandmother used to make for Christmas Eve dessert. The location also has a deli that serves classic Italian sub sandwiches, but the traditional cookies are reason enough to stop by this community favorite. With delectable classic cannoli and a chocolate-dipped version, as well as pistachio, pine nut, and almond cookies, everyone is sure to find something to satisfy a sweet tooth. Eagle Rock Italian Bakery is well worth a trip out of LA proper.

Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles

Located on a tree-lined avenue in Westwood Village, the Italian Cultural Institute is a wonderful resource for those looking to appreciate Italian culture, learn the beautiful language, or simply experience more of the Italian community in Los Angeles. In addition to offering highly praised language courses with small class sizes and engaging educators, the ICI hosts exhibits and events such as film screenings and concerts to celebrate Italian artists. The Institute is part of an initiative by the Italian government to bring the best that Italian culture has to offer to the United States, and many would argue that this initiative is a success.